Five notable KC restaurants offering pay-what-you-can meals; plus unique new curbside offerings

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The Crossroads Community Kitchen has served thousands of pay-what-you-can meals in the past week. // Photo courtesy of Crossroads Community Kitchen/The Rieger

It has been just a week since all of Kansas City’s restaurants and bars have been forced to reckon with disaster. Many have closed their doors, while others are (to varying degrees) subsisting on carryout and curbside service. Five restaurants so far, including the Crossroads Community Kitchen (at the Rieger, 1904 Main Street), Black Sheep, Waldo Thai, Soirée Steak & Oyster House, and Ladybird Diner in Lawrence, have either pivoted their entire businesses to pay-what-you-can and donation-based feeding programs, or have incorporated it into their new models.

At the Crossroads Community Kitchen, General Manager Kyle Bennett, along with chef/owner Howard Hanna and Kyle Gardner, organized a daily pay-what-you-can meal from 4-6 p.m. that is open to all hospitality industry workers from, as well as anyone in the community who may need a meal. The Crossroads Community Kitchen has also been preparing meals for hospital workers, homeless shelters, churches, and childcare facilities.

“So far in the past week we have served over 3,700 meals to our community,” says Bennett. “We want our restaurant friends and family to know that there is still a place where they can show up for ‘family meal.’ The cash donations we take in go straight back to our hourly staff who were abruptly taken out of their normal day-to-day jobs. Last week we made enough in donations to be able to support them without anyone taking a major pay decrease.”

How you can help the Crossroads Community Kitchen: donations of bulk to-go boxes (clean and unused, of course), sanitary supplies including cleaning products, bulk food products, and produce will all be welcomed. Email them here if you can help with donated supplies. You can also donate funds here.

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Photo courtesy of Waldo Thai.

Black Sheep (1815 West 39th Street) is offering a pay-what-you-can grilled cheese and tomato soup dish every day for lunch, and, according to its newsletter the restaurant is transitioning next week to become a “Donation Kitchen & Market Concept to give back and help those in need … stay tuned for details including delivery for the Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup special.”

Waldo Thai (8431 Wornall Road) is offering a first-come, first-served set of meals every day to industry staff – check facebook for details. It is also currently open for takeout. Soirée Steak & Oyster House also has free sack lunches on weekdays (check their facebook for times, menu and availability), and are selling family-style meals Wednesdays through Saturdays, as well as quarts of gumbo and chicken and dumplings. Ladybird Diner (721 Massachusetts, Lawrence) should also be commended for its sack lunch program. In the past week and a half, it has offered hundreds of sack lunches to anyone who needs a bite.

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Baked goods from Jessica Armstrong of Novel will be available at their bakesale this Thursday, March 26. // Photo courtesy of Novel.

Here are some updated, unique offerings for curbside/pickup:

Novel (1927 McGee Street) is holding a bake sale on Thursday from 2-6 p.m. You can pick up pastry chef Jessica Armstrong’s impeccable carrot cake cupcakes, pistachio cream pie slices, matcha tiramisu, lemon bars, and much more. Guests can also pick up heat-and-eat entrees for $12, as well as discounted wine.


Heat-and-eat Cassoulet is available from the Fox and Pearl mercantile. // Photo courtesy Fox and Pearl.

Fox & Pearl (2143 Summit Street) has transitioned itself into a temporary mercantile. Visit its website to see what is available. Here you can pick up prepared meals (smoked adobo chicken quarters!) produce, proteins (including chef Vaughn Good’s charcuterie), produce, natural wine, eggs, tortillas, and even hot sauces. You can purchase online and then utilize curbside delivery or pick your goods up at the counter. Fox & Pearl is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Antler Room Sandwich

The Antler Room has opened a bottle shop with to-go sandwiches and sides, including this pork tonkatsu sandwich with pickles and kewpie mayo. // Photo by April Fleming

The Antler Room (2506 Holmes Road) has opened a bottle shop, featuring its excellent selection of unique and natural wines by the bottle or in bottle “flights.” Also available are to-go sandwiches and sides, including pork tonkatuso sandwiches on shokupan bread with pickles, radicchio, Kewpie mayo, katsu sauce, and shichimi togarashi; fried cod sandwiches with cabbage, eel mayo, capers, and pickled red onion; grilled pimento cheese sandwiches with Midnight Moon aged gouda and mozzarella, among other selections.

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One of many family-style take-home options from the Restaurant at 1900. // Courtesy the Restaurant at 1900.

The Restaurant at 1900 (1900 Shawnee Mission Parkway) is offering curbside/pickup for its temporary menu of family takeaway meals (as well as frozen meals), called 1900 AT HOME. Pick up 900 bolognese sauce with wild mushrooms, house made rigatoni, Grana Padano and a bottle of Ciacci Piccolomini; sweet potato, black bean, and baby chard enchiladas with a bottle of Pfeffingen Dry Riesling, among many other options. View the ever-changing menu here; call 913-730-1900 when you are ready to order and pick up.

Donutology (1009 Westport Road) is debuting a “care to share” program in which you can send care packages to first responders. Log on to its website, choose the hospital, fire station, or police station you’d like as the recipient, and the donuts will arrive wrapped in a care package with a bow and message of thanks. Deliveries will be made Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and noon.

Chicken Platter 2

Get the entire menu from the Russell delivered to your door. // Photo by April Fleming.

The Russell (3141 Main Street) has curbside service and its own delivery service for its full menu of wood-fired proteins and veggies as well as its baked goods. Check out their menu and order online via their website.

Joyce Smith at the Star also compiled a pretty exhaustive list of restaurants that are open and offering curbside and delivery services. It’s well worth a look – all of these places need our help.

Categories: Food & Drink